Basics of Soldering: Types of Soldering Equipments

Basics of Soldering: Types of Soldering Equipments

Soldering can be carried out using a variety of equipments that all employ varying mechanisms to seal metal joints. We will look at the most common equipments available. These include soldering torches, soldering irons and rework stations.

Soldering torch: Soldering torches make use of an inbuilt or external tank of gas, in most cases butane to produce heat. The most commonly-used gases include acetylene, propane and butane. These produce short flames of heat as is characteristic with the combustion of the aforementioned gases. Among the types of soldering irons, these perhaps present the highest level of injury risk and thus require great caution during operation.

Soldering gun: It is in principle similar to soldering irons. However, soldering irons support a much higher voltage and cover a wider surface area. The gun aspect comes from the presence of a trigger that controls the transfer of heat within and from the device.

Soldering station: Soldering stations are the complete set of soldering tools. The most basic ones will include soldering irons, cleaning sponges, soldering stands and temperature control features. This implies that customers who purchase these rarely have to get back to the market for an additional soldering iron component or accessory. However, this comes at a cost of a steeper price as compared to standalone soldering irons.

Soldering Iron (http://www.amazon.com/iCooker-Soldering-Iron-Watt-Solder/dp/B01774KARE): It is a small, often hand-held tool that could be power or gas operated depending on a variety of factors that melts solder from a source of heat to join various elements known as work-pieces. There is also the digital configuration of the soldering iron. This comes with all features of the regular soldering iron but adds to this the ability to display temperature information via a digital display. On modern sets, the user can also program their preferred settings via the display.

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Basics of Soldering: Accessories you Will Require

Basics of Soldering: Accessories you Will Require

You will find as you carry out your soldering tasks that certain accessories will become requirements at a point in time. It is better to have these in hand before then. The most commonly used accessories include the soldering cradle, soldering base, soldering stand, desoldering wick and a soldering iron tinner.

Soldering cradle: A soldering cradle is a small tool on which a soldering iron is usually placed on to avoid rolling off the workspace. Soldering cradles come in a variety of designs and components within them. The most common are the basic, brass sponge and regular sponge soldering cradle.

Soldering wick: A soldering wick is a handy tool when it comes to undoing a piece of soldering. It is also commonly referred to as a desoldering braid. In most instances, a soldering wick involves a copper wire coated with flux, mostly natural rosin. The desoldering wick usually comes in a roll though rare varieties may come in different configurations.

Soldering iron base: A soldering base is in its most basic configuration a box that has dials or buttons used to control the temperature for a soldering iron. Digital soldering iron bases have buttons and a display that shows the current settings while analogue bases have knobs and dials used to adjust the heat.

Soldering iron tinner: Soldering tinner is a cleaning agent for use with work-pieces, soldering tips and other soldering items. The tinner is relatively acidic and thus helps remove residue from an iron tip and to reduce or prevent oxidation of metals within the soldering process. Depending on the specific manufacturer, soldering tinner may come in different packaging sizes, slight component differences and also slight pricing differences.

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Basics of soldering: Understanding Flux And Solder

Basics of soldering: Understanding Flux And Solder

In soldering, flux is an agent that can serve various purposes such as cleaning, purifying, dissolving metal oxides and acting as a reducing agent that undoes the effects of oxidization. Basically, at room temperatures, most kinds of flux are inert. This however changes once the flux is exposed to high temperature levels. Once heated, flux becomes an active reducing agent and thus prevents the oxidization of metals into their respective metal oxides. This is necessary since the commonly used types of solder rarely attach to oxidized metals. For example, copper, once heated turns to copper oxide. Now, while a silver solder may attach readily to copper, it will do so very poorly or not at all with copper oxide. Some types of flux include potash, borax, lime and other lime-based elements.

Solder on the other hand is the metal alloy commonly used to join work-pieces that include sheets of metal, wires, plumbing and other elements common in soldering. The alloy is designed to have a melting point that is lower than that of the components it joins. Without this characteristic, the work-pieces would probably be damaged by the solder or even before the solder effectively binds them. Depending on the type of work and desired outcomes, one can choose from a wide range of solder. The most common include lead-free solder, rosin-coated solder, lead solder, flux-core solder and hard solder.

The two components work hand in hand. Flux has to be applied prior to soldering to ensure that the effects f oxidation are minimized. Without this, bonding the metal parts with the solder becomes very difficult due to the presence of the oxide layer.

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